There are many reasons why signing with your baby is a worthy pursuit. The research is clear, baby’s who sign have advanced vocabulary and reading skills, have reduced tantrums because it gives a baby an early voice, and increases IQ.
However, this is NOT why we sign and I would advocate that you not sign for these reasons either. I would recommend that you sign with your baby because it’s fun! It’s fun to watch your baby learn about their world. It’s fun to share in your baby’s learning experiences, to notice what they do, to have conversations about things that interest them, to be able to meet their needs and wants, to connect with them.
Baby sign language is about build a strong bond with your baby on a deeper level than that which can occur in silence and babble. Signing gives your baby the power to speak specific words and request precise things. Your baby doesn’t have to look, point and whine when they want a drink, they can simply ask for WATER or MILK. You won’t have to guess by poring out two glasses, just ask your signing baby what he wants, and he’ll tell you!
So while we enjoy having a “smart” baby as a side benefit, we enjoy connecting with him even more. We enjoy talking with him one-on-one and seeing the world through his fresh eyes.
We sign with our baby because it’s fun.